The Fasting 5K Run has humble origins – a small group of friends wanting to incorporate the American love of running with a unique twist: celebrating the spirit of Ramadan by helping others! This group approached Barakat in 2013 to propose a run that would raise $2,500 for one of our school’s computer labs. Well, that initial modest effort quickly snowballed to become a huge community effort spanning 4 cities – Boston, Houston, and Washington, D.C. – which ended up raising $13,000 in just a week! Now in its second year, the Run also expanded to New York and Southern California, making the Fasting 5K Run a national event where groups in these cities held the run the same day – July 19, 2014! In addition, the Run’s focus on global education also supported education-based organizations in each of the event cities.
And so here in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the runners started off at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Centre mosque. Racers were able to select one of three groups to join – either the walking group, jogging group, or running group. The commencement of each wave was appropriately timed such that all of the runners would complete the Run and break the fast at the same time.
With the help of social media, the event has attracted more and more people wanting to raise awareness and funds for Barakat’s students. But it isn’t just about the money – one of the founders, Farhaan Razi, thinks of the run as a symbol for the struggles Barakat’s students encounter every day, and the many miles they often have to trek to school. That sense of solidarity is what has propelled the Fasting 5K Run to be such a success today.
Barakat is thankful to all the planners, runners and donors of Fasting 5K Run, who helped raise over $8,000 to build a playground for over 900 students at one of our schools in Afghanistan.